From Tom Pilant             From Kathy


Dear Mom, 

I found this card when I unpacked after moving to the new house that you made possible.  We have been missing you for almost a year now.  I wanted to add this card to the memories.  You sent it to me but I could reverse the feelings for having a mother like you.



You don't eat critters that call you by name...

Once while visiting from SC, Stet was gone to the store, Joyce was in the kitchen, and I was out on the deck fooling with a fishing pole. I put a piece of bread on it and lowered it out of boredom not expecting anything when suddenly something grabbed the end of the line and tried to pull the pole out of my hands. I yelled for Joyce. She came out, saw what was going on, and grabbed a zinc bucket. Between us we managed to pull the fish up and put it in the bucket. She took the hook out.

I bent over the bucket and saw a big old catfish. It said something. I asked Joyce to come over and listen. It said it again. I asked Joyce if she heard what it said. With big eyes, Joyce said, "Yes. It said TOM."

Stet got back shortly after and was excited. He said he'd been trying to catch that fish for years. He asked if we wanted him to cook it. I looked at Joyce and Joyce looked at me and we looked at that catfish and both said "NO!" at the same time. We weren't about to eat something that could call a person by name. We dropped it back into the water.

It's still out there somewhere.

-- Tom Pilant


I heard the heart strings of your life, of Becky's life, of Karen's life, of Leslie's life sang sotto voice by the sighs in between the words your Mother shared with me when relating me your experiences. And I listened as she shared the utter breaking of her
heart over your brother's death. Again and again. I committed them to heart, but out of confidence and love and trust, not to memory.

Joyce is around the corner of our lives, around the curve, observing, chuckling in that purely loving way of hers. Tossing her ageless blond curls and softy expressing, "Oh, well." 

Stop breathing and you will meet her. Resume breathing if that is to be and remember her much more sharply. There is a difference.

Your Mother was more than most knew.

She still is. I give this back to you as her friend, and as the friend of the love of her life, Stetson.

Love you. Later. -- Tom